By Rex Smitherman
Copyright © 2012, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
For many of us, this season of getting together with family and friends means retelling favorite stories from the past, making new memories, and snapping pictures of these good times on our iPhones and digital cameras.
What if you could actually hear the story behind the photos that are most important to you?
That’s the vision of Narrable.com, a Tulsa-based startup that is launching an online storytelling platform this month.
“We created Narrable as a storytelling platform for photos that really matter to us,” said Dustin Curzon, Narrable co-founder. “We all take thousands of photos every year, but there is only a small group of photos that we really care about. What adds depth is when someone tells you about that photo, not only the facts, but the context and emotion around it.”
Narrable.com is not another organize-your-photos tool. Rather, it’s an easy way to take those photos that mean the most and capture the voices that can give them life.
With a couple of clicks, subscribers can upload a digital photo and then record audio to go with that photo through the telephone. It’s as simple and natural as making a call to a friend.
The site works with smartphones, tablets and desktops.
“Narrable automatically lays out your photos into a beautiful, horizontal canvas that gives you the ability to easily add a narration to any photo,” said Curzon, who holds the title of “chief storyteller.”
“Once you’ve recorded a story, you can then share it with the people who matter to you,” he said. “It’s active consumption. They can scroll through horizontally to pick and choose the stories they want to listen to.”
Individual subscribers can create and share their first five narrables for free. After that, Narrable will offer subscriptions for unlimited use.
In the spring, Narrable will be launching additional features for groups and creative professionals.
“When people tell stories or when you hear someone’s voice talking about a photo, it creates connection and sense of empathy between the person and the story teller,” Curzon said. “We think Narrable can go beyond family photos. People are passionate about a lot of things — everyone has a story.”
Narrable launches its storytelling platform Dec. 11 at www.narrable.com. You might want to check it out this holiday season.
Rex Smitherman is interim president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Contact Smitherman at i2E_Comments@i2E.org.
DID YOU KNOW? The more than 140 billion photos now on Facebook is 10,000 times larger than the Library of Congress photo catalog.